The day was cold, of course, it was February in Indiana.
“Whoa,” the woman said, as she tried to stop at an intersection.
The brakes in her car were useless against four tires packed with ice and an untreated road. She scanned the intersecting streets for danger. No cars in any direction, she gratefully noted with the mildest sense of relief.
Inside of her chest, her heart pounded and sent a rush of blood to her head. The woman felt the hot life force pulsing in her temples and fill the vein that ran across her forehead.
“Please stop,” she pleaded with her car, as she slid sideways towards the stop sign.
Finally slowing to a stop, the woman opened her eyes. She realized that she had squeezed them shut in preparation for an impact, as though not seeing it happen would make it hurt less.
“Get it together,” she told herself, and continued to drive.
The radio blasted the voice of Phil Collins as she firmly placed her gloved hands at ten and two on the wheel. She resolved to be cautious, but was not deterred from her mission.
The woman sat across from the psychic on the edge of her chair. They were separated by a glittering, sequin covered table. The psychic straightened the shimmering cloth out, and explained, “It’s good for gathering energy.”
I’m not ready for this, the woman nervously thought. Fears of becoming a psychic junkie crossed her mind, becoming desperate for answers and contact, willing to spend her last twenty dollars for just a few minutes.
What if too much of the past or future was revealed or it opened her to the darkness?
She looked at the closed door and suddenly felt imprisoned in the small room. A deep well of vulnerability lay just beneath the woman’s thin layer of skepticism and confidence. She slid back in her chair, until her back was straight and her feet square on the ground. The chair gave her a form; she sat erect and expressionless.
The psychic curiously watched the small woman, contained and controlled. She was amused at what could have compelled this stranger to sit at her table.
The women carefully sized one another up. The psychic appeared scattered and free. Her messy blonde hair was thrown up into a clip, leaving dark, brown roots exposed. She crossed her legs at the ankles, showing maroon socks with leather sandals.
“Before we get started, I must know your sign,” the psychic asked dramatically.
The woman took a tiny sip of something from a paper cup she had been clutching, “Aries,” she spluttered, choking on her words and the liquid. A second later, her inner skeptic broke through and she thought, Shouldn’t you know that already?
“Yes, I could tell,” the psychic confirmed, as though reading the woman’s mind.
“An Aries, quite naturally. You are very head strong and passionate.” The psychic’s eyes were closed as she pressed both index fingers to her temples.
“I’m seeing brown boys. Two, little brown boys in your future,” she said, as she channeled her spirit guides from the cosmos.
“Are you married?” the psychic asked as an afterthought.
Duh, the woman thought as she turned the diamond ring and wedding band on her left hand, the woman replied, “Yes, I am, but he isn’t brown.”
“Doesn’t matter,” the psychic said, “they’re in your future.”
The woman unconsciously leaned closer to the psychic. Her dark eyebrows furrowed in question as her brain worked to make sense of what the psychic just prophesied.
“Pick three,” the psychic said after she set a pile of tarot cards in front of the woman on the sparkling tabletop.
Compliant as usual, the woman drew three cards from the middle and placed them face down.
“Another two, now.”
With an inward roll of her eyes, the woman slid two more cards from the top of the deck and placed them face down, as well.
The psychic flipped over the first card, “Ah, I see. You must follow your heart.”
She flipped over a second card and commented, “Very good, the creator, you will have no problems getting the brown boys.”
Then she flipped over a third card, and a dark shadow crossed her face. She flipped over the next card, and pursed her lips without saying a word.
The psychic left the last card unturned on the table and held up the deck to the woman, “Go ahead, pick one more.”
The woman pulled out one last card, as asked and flipped it over. “Death?” she asked, reading the name of the card.
“Nothing to worry about, it really means you will have a new start. Just do what you want and enjoy yourself. Everything is just fine, nothing to worry about,” the psychic said and glanced at her watch.
“Time’s up,” she announced.
The psychic stood up and she placed her hand on the woman’s shoulder. She looked deep into her brown eyes with real concern.
“Take care of yourself, ok. This one’s on me. Don’t worry about paying.”
“Thanks,” the woman gushed. “Wow! That really is great, I feel like a million bucks. Nothing to worry about. Wow! I guess the doctors don’t know everything, huh.”
The woman walked out and the psychic watched with sadness in her eyes and thought, No, they certainly don’t know everything.